Warning: Details of this trial are graphic. We have ongoing coverage from each day of the trial on our website.
UPDATE 6:45 p.m: In an earlier report, we mistakenly stated that charges have been downgraded and dropped. That is NOT the case. The felony murder and sodomy charges remain.
UPDATE 5:45 p.m: The judge has downgraded the charges from capital murder to felony murder. Under felony murder, Robinson will not be eligible for the death penalty if convicted. In addition, the sodomy charges have been dropped.
UPDATE: Tasha Parker, Hiawatha’s girlfriend, took the stand. She testified that she consented to the FBI’s search of her home. Parker was shown several photos that the FBI took inside her home. There were several photos of drawers being opened within certain rooms of the house, but not in her middle bedroom. This room, Parker says, is where she keeps all of her young girl’s hair materials- including barrettes and beads. Parker brought in hair accessories from her home to share with the court, some of those beads were clear hair beads. Parker also testified that the Tahoe belonged to her and her young nieces often rode in the truck, wearing hair beads in their hair.
The trial of Hiawatha Robinson is on its tenth day and things could be winding up this afternoon. Defense Attorney Jeff Deen revealed the defense had six witnesses to present today, and possibly a seventh. The seventh witness would be Hiawatha Robinson. Deen has not said whether or not his client will be taking the stand.
Robinson is charged with sodomizing and killing his 8-year-old daughter Hiawayi.
Yesterday in the trial, experts discussed a history of sexual abuse and revealed a new detail about DNA evidence found on Hiawayi’s clothes.
That evidence, semen, was devoid of all sperm. Derrick Taylor, with ALEA, revealed during his testimony that law enforcement theorized the lack of sperm heads may indicate whoever committed the crime may have had a vasectomy. Robinson’s attorney said that his client, Hiawatha Robinson, has not had a vasectomy.
It was the latest effort to cast the shadow of doubt on the case, which has several questions.
So far today, the defense has presented three of Hiawatha’s nieces, his mother, and a teacher at Hiawayi’s school. The defendant’s girlfriend, Tasha Parker, is set to testify at 1 p.m.
Murleen Howard, Hiawatha’s mother, took the stand. ADA Jennifer Wright showed Howard a photo of the red SUV seen in the surveillance footage and Howard identified the vehicle as Hiawatha’s maroon Chevy Tahoe.
Relatives testified that the little girl was frequently playing outside unsupervised. Hiawayi’s cousin, 20-year-old Alexis Nobles, testified that she frequented St. Stephens Woods Apartment and spent time with Hiawayi’s grandmother, Brenda. Nobles said she and Brenda would sit around and smoke weed while Brenda was babysitting Hiawayi.
Hiawayi’s cousin, Shamia Robinson, testified that Hiawayi confided in her about a man named Mike Robinson. Several witnesses have said Mike Robinson, of no relation to Hiawatha, was dating Yosha at the time of Hiawayi’s murder. Yosha testified that Mike Robinson is the father of her youngest child, Bailey, with whom she was pregnant with when Hiawayi died. A paternity test introduced by Defense Attorney disputed these claims, Mike Robinson is not the father.
Closing arguments could begin today.
News 5 will have the latest from the courtroom at 5 and 6 tonight.